Mombasa is located on Mombasa Island in the Indian Ocean and is connected to the mainland by a causeway. The city has a population of roughly 1.2 million and its economy relies on trade, its seaport and tourism.
Despite the relative wealth the tourism industry brings to the region, thousands of people live in the slums of Mombasa, in conditions of abject poverty. Sanitation systems and running water are not available and many families struggle to feed their children.
The HIV infection rate is high in the slums, leaving many children at risk of losing parental care.
Since 1979, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Mombasa.
While different industries have brought relative wealth to the city of Mombasa and the surrounding area, many people remain severely disadvantaged.
Over 150, 000 people in Mombasa live in slums in conditions of extreme poverty. Access to proper housing, sanitation facilities, water supply and sewage systems is rare. Under these conditions, diseases spread easily in overcrowded slums.
Unemployment is a common issue, and many families cannot afford to feed their children properly.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to be a challenge across all of Kenya.
In Mombasa too, the virus presents a serious problem. Especially in the slums, the infection rate can be incredibly high, with some estimates suggesting a rate as high as 75%.
This leaves many children and young people at risk of losing parental care, and has already lead to child-headed households in many cases.